University District News Minneapolis

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For more information about how you can contribute news and tips to the Daily Planet's coverage of the University District neighborhoods, contact editor [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net.

THEATER REVIEW | "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" charms Theatre in the Round

At the Blaine School for Girls in Scotland in the early 1930s, Jean Brodie’s young students hang on her every word as she passionately expounds on her pet topics – sexual freedom, Fascism, and her romances. ©2014 Aleutian Calabay

Theatre in the Round’s staging of Jay Presson Allen’s play The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a rare treat. Dann Peterson directs a well-paced production with some excellent performances. 

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MUSIC PHOTOS | The Current's 10th Anniversary featuring Billy Idol and Steve Stevens at the Turf Club

Photos by Patrick Dunn

It was great to see people packing into the sold out Turf Club in St. Paul January 19th to support and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of 89.3 The Current. It’s establishments like this that keep the Twin Cities known for being rich in the arts. The event titled Mary Lucia’s Rock and Roll Radio show created a little extra buzz as they were able to arrange for 80s rocker Billy Idol who is out on tour to swing by and squeeze in a 6 song acoustic set. Idol was packed full of charisma and his strong vocal only needed his longtime guitar master Steve Steven’s to do the music justice. The rockabilly style “To Be A Lover” was a standout and of course “Rebel Yell” was the big closer.

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THEATER REVIEW | Swandive Theatre's "Defying Gravity": Lost in space

Elizabeth (Roneet Aliza Rahamim) reaches out to her mother in the stars in Swandive Theatre's production of Defying Gravity; photography by Joan Banick

Jane Anderson’s play Defying Gravity is NOT about the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, and it IS about the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. That, in a nutshell, is the problem. It feels like the playwright is trying to have it both ways. She doesn’t want to be bound by the literal facts of the disaster, but she wants to piggyback on all of its traumatic emotional resonance for an audience. The script and the production by Swandive Theatre (to my recollection) never mention the Challenger by name, but they also use images and audio from the 1986 mishap. To use a slightly more current and raw example, it’s as if someone created a piece of theater about a “generic terrorist attack” but confronted the audience with footage of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. While Defying Gravity doesn’t feel manipulative in a cynical way (the good intentions behind the storytelling feel genuine), it is, nonetheless, manipulative.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Keeping kids rocking with Bunny Clogs and Guitar Party at the Cedar

Photos by Ann Treacy

Saturday the morning the Cedar Cultural Center was hopping and toddling with Bunny Clogs and Guitar Party – two bands for kids with members who are well known to a Twin Cities audience.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Generations of Punk celebrate The Current: Suicide Commandos, Craig Finn and L’Assassins

Photos by Ann Treacy

Generations of Minnesota garage punk were on stage and in the audience Friday night for The Current’s ten-year birthday party. Craig Finn put a frame on that fact when he talked taking guitar lessons as a kid from Chris Osgood of the Suicide Commandos. “I learned how to be cool,” he explained, by watching Osgood turn up the stereo before he answered the phone instructing Finn “you want people to think you’re having a party.”

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MUSIC PHOTOS | Girl Germs at Turf Club

Photos by Emmerlee Sherman.

Girl Germs performed its second installment at the Turf Club on Saturday, January 10.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Girl Germs: An epidemic you won’t mind catching

Photos by Ann Treacy

Saturday night the Turf Club welcomed the second infestation of local Girl Germs. Like lots of good ideas, it’s a simple theme – local musicians paying homage to women in rock. That might mean Kitten Forever taking a pop icon like Beyoncé and making it their own. It might mean Aby Wolf striking perfect pitch of Kate Bush. There’s something for everyone, which makes the case that women can’t be pigeon-holed – they can rock any genre, any era, any taste.

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U of M dean of students braces for 'tough times' ahead, budget cuts will impact all areas of student services

(Photo by Charles Hallman) Danita Brown Young

University of Minnesota Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Danita Brown Young mainly used her first year on campus as one of the school’s highest ranking female administrators “to reflect and assess” her office and the 16 programs she oversees. Now in her second year, she says her office is ready for action.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Local indie pop band Hippo Campus hits up Triple Rock

Hey guys, it has been a while, so please excuse me if my writing's a bit rusty. If you've forgotten my existence entirely, or are reading my writing for the first time, my name is Lindsay LaBarre and in my 19 years of living I have gone to copious amounts of concerts. The most recent concert I went to, and the topic of today’s review is the sold-out Hippo Campus show at Triple Rock on December 27th.

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No means no: New prevention efforts shine light on sexual assault risks college women face

(Photos provided) Caroline Palmer (upper left), Yvonne Cournoyer, Donna Dunn (lower left), and Katie Eichele

Beth* thought Brian* was sweet - a little shy - but trustworthy. She knew from her parents to look for men who respect women. But when he got her alone, near their University of Minnesota campus, he began to push too hard, too fast. He didn't stop when she asked him to. He didn't seem to care when she said no. She realized what was about to happen, and her brain shut down.

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